tile sealing

Rejuvenating a Sandstone Tiled Floor at a Barn Conversion in Rugeley

The owners of this barn conversion in Rugeley had got to breaking point with their large Sandstone tiled kitchen and utility floor. They had tried various different cleaning methods without success to clean the floor, but it always appeared grimy, and they suspected it had not been sealed following installation.

Sandstone kitchen floor before cleaning Rugeley
This would make sense: a lack of sealer would have allowed the dirt to become ingrained in the stone, making it impossible to clean. Interestingly their next door neighbour had suffered the same problem and decided to replace the floor entirely. The property owners were seriously considering the same as a solution, that is until they as found Tile Doctor. I was called down to the property to see what could be done.

Sandstone kitchen floor before cleaning Rugeley

Removing Ingrained Dirt from Sandstone Tiles

To begin the cleaning process, I applied a strong, undiluted quantity of Tile Doctor Pro Clean to the floor and left it to dwell for a few minutes. This allows the high alkaline cleaner to seep into the pores of the stone to begin to break down the ingrained dirt. After the short dwelling period, I scrubbed the floor using a rotary machine with a black pad attached.

With the tiles clean, I then focused specifically on cleaning the grout lines and edges of the floor using a grout brush in combination with a steamer. Finally, I rinsed the floor with cold water, before vacuuming up the resulting cleaning slurry before leaving the tiles to dry completely overnight. The drying period is exceptionally important because excess moisture can cloud any new sealers and damage their performance.

Sealing Sandstone Tiles

I returned to the property the next day to find the clean tiles showing some signs of damp. It’s possible that the property, being a barn conversion, does not have a damp proof membrane installed beneath the floor, making these sorts of issues inevitable.

To be on the safe side, I opted to seal the Sandstone tiles with Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, which allows full moisture vapour transmission, making it fully breathable and ideal for these situations. It also provides durable protection against ingrained dirt and stains and does a good job enhancing the look of the tiles.

Sandstone kitchen floor after cleaning Rugeley
The customers were very happy with the result, and left the comment below on the Tile Doctor Feedback system.

WONDERFUL, delight to have Trevor restoring my very tired flagstone kitchen floor, it is now beautiful. Many thanks Trevor a job very well done.

I’m sure they were also relieved that they won’t have to go to the expense of replacing their fantastic Sandstone tiled floor. What was Once a problem is now a real asset to the property.

Sandstone kitchen floor after cleaning Rugeley

Dirty Sandstone Tiled Floor Restored at a Staffordshire Barn Conversion

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Tutbury

This Quarry tiled kitchen floor was in very good condition, with no cracked or broken tiles. However, my customer, who lives in the town of Tutbury, near Burton-on-Trent, was keen to boost the condition of the tiles further through professional maintenance, including a deep clean and a fresh seal to restore the sheen to the Quarry. NB, did you know it’s estimated that Tutbury has actually been inhabited for 3000 years, having once been the site of an Iron Age hill fort, this house of course was a lot more recent.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Before Cleaning in Tutbury Burton on Trent Quarry Tiled Kitchen Before Cleaning in Tutbury Burton on Trent

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

To clean the tiles, I chose to use our tried and trusted alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro Clean. We use Pro Clean on most types of natural stone floor, including Quarry, Slate, and Victorian. I applied Pro Clean liberally across the floor and left it to dwell for a short period, giving it time to seep into the tile to get underneath and lift out any ingrained dirt. The cleaner was then agitated using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine to remove the dirt and other general muck.

I then rinsed the floor with cold water and soaked up the resulting slurry with a wet-vac machine. Some areas of the floor proved to be quite stubborn to clean, so in these areas the cleaning process was repeated until satisfactory results were achieved. Finally, the floor was given another rinse and left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

The next day I returned to the property and checked that the floor was ready to seal by running several damp tests, with the results indicating that was no excess moisture remaining on the tiles. We carry out these tests before sealing because moisture can cloud the sealer and prevent it from properly protecting the tiles.

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Seal & Go, a cost effective topical sealer that builds up a robust layer of protection on the surface of the floor and provides a durable sheen finish that, as you can see from the photographs, really lifts the appearance of the tiles.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen After Cleaning in Tutbury Burton on Trent Quarry Tiled Kitchen After Cleaning in Tutbury Burton on Trent

It’s a fact that any sealed tiled floor will need to be regularly maintained as sealers do wear off over time, especially in the high traffic areas, and this is when the floor starts to lose its appearance as dirt becomes trapped in the pores of the stone. The life of the sealer can be extended however by ensuring you only clean the floor with a PH Neutral cleaner.

Professional Quarry Tile Floor Maintenance Staffordshire

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Restored in Stoke-on-Trent

Here’s a job I recently completed in the heartland of the English pottery industry, Stoke-on-Trent. In this particular instance I was commissioned by my client to restore the appearance of the Quarry tiled floor in her kitchen which as you can see from the photo below was far from looking it’s best. Quarry tiles are typically a very hard wearing stone, but in high traffic areas like a kitchen, even this type of tile will require regular maintenance.

Kitchen Quarry Tiles Before Restoration Stoke-on-Trent

Cleaning a Quarry tiled floor

My first task, before beginning the restoration, was to remove the kickboards from around the bottom of the kitchen units, to prevent them from being damaged during the process. The next step was to acid wash the tiles using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which was scrubbed into the tiles to remove old grout and plaster that had become stuck to the surface of the tiles at some point in the past. Once this had done its job I rinsed the entire floor with water washing away the excess soiled residue and any trace of acid.

The next step was to give the tiles a good clean using Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a high alkaline cleaner suitable for use on a range of natural stone floors. This was left to dwell on the tiles for ten minutes, allowing it time to seep into the stone to get underneath – and lift out – the ingrained dirt. I then agitated the solution with a scrubbing brush to remove the muck from the surface of the tiles. The floor was then given another rinse with water, and this was extracted using a wet vacuum.

Sealing a Quarry tiled floor

I left the floor to dry after cleaning for more than 24 hours, making sure that it would be ready for sealing the next day. Upon my return to the house I checked the floor was dry and then sealed the floor using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which provides a robust surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish. The product is suitable for use on internal, unsealed, porous surfaces.

Kitchen Quarry Tiles After Restoration Stoke-on-Trent
The photographs above bears witness to the massive improvement which has been made to the quarry tiles, which has not only completely transformed the look of the tiles but also the appearance of the kitchen.

Restoring a Quarry tiled kitchen floor in Staffordshire

Dirty and Worn Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Restored in Burton-on-Trent

This slate floor was installed in the kitchen of a house in the town of Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire. As the name suggests, Burton-on-Trent sits alongside the River Trent, which runs through most of the northern Midlands. The old sealer on my client’s Slate tiled kitchen floor had completely worn off and, as a result, dirt had become ingrained in the pores of the stone which was now in need of restoration.

Slate is typically a very durable tile, having been used both residentially and commercially for hundreds of years but, in particularly high traffic areas like kitchens it’s important to maintain the sealer or dirt will get into the pores of the stone making the floor difficult to clean effectively and leading to the tile looking worse for wear. I was commissioned to get the floor back to good health and I prescribed a deep clean and re-seal.

Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Burton-on-Trent Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Burton-on-Trent

Cleaning a dirty Slate tiled floor

To start the cleaning process, I first diluted Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and water and left it to soak into the floor for a while so it could get to work lifting out the dirt from the pores of the stone. Pro-Clean is a versatile, high alkaline cleaner safe to use on natural stone which can be diluted in different strengths depending on the level of soil build-up. In this case, I opted for a reasonably strong solution due to the significant amount of ingrained dirt (as shown by the photographs).

After about ten minutes I started working in small sections to agitate the tiles with a scrubbing pad attached to a rotary machine. The pad and machine take a lot of the hard work out of the cleaning process although I usually do the grout by hand using a stiff scrubbing brush. Once I had finished the initial clean, I rinsed the entire floor with water, before repeating the process multiple times until I was satisfied that I had got the Slate tiles as clean as possible.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

After completing the clean, I left the house for a few days to allow the floor enough time to dry before being sealed. As any Tile Doctor will tell you, all moisture must be removed from a tiled floor before sealing it, as it has the potential to compromise the effectiveness of the sealer.

Once I was satisfied that the floor was completely dry, I sealed the tiles using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which provides a stain resistant surface seal and a nice, low sheen finish. Seal & Go is a water based product (so no smell) and is suitable for use on a wide variety of unsealed, porous surfaces as Slate, Victorian tile, Sandstone, and textured Quarry tiles.

Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Burton-on-Trent Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning Burton-on-Trent

As you can see, the overall results were fantastic and my client was really happy with the difference I’d been able to achieve.

Restoring Slate Tiled Floor in Burton-on-Trent

Slate tiled kitchen floor refreshed in Burton on Trent

Pictures below of a slate tiled kitchen floor that I recently maintained at a house in Burton on Trent. The problem was the usual one that the sealer had worn down and the floor had lost its polished look leaving it dull and the owner of the house wanted it looking new again.

Cleaning black slate floor tiles

The floor was cleaned using a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to soak into the slate for ten minutes before being worked into the tile using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The process was repeated where there were stubborn stains and then the whole floor was washed down to remove the soiled cleaning solution and any trace of product. The floor was then dried as much as possible using a wet vacuum and left to fully dry overnight.

Slate Tiles in Burton on Trent Before Cleaning Slate Tiles in Burton on Trent Before Cleaning

Sealing Slate floor tiles

I left the floor overnight to dry then came back next day and used a damp test meter to verify the floor was dry and ready for sealing. Once happy I proceed to apply four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which as you can see from the photograph below has really brought the slate back to life.

Slate Tiles in Burton on Trent After Cleaning Slate Tiles in Burton on Trent After Cleaning

The customer was delighted with the transformation of the floor.

Slate tiled Kitchen floor Cleaned and Sealed in Staffordshire

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